Kornerupine Gemstone Information
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About Kornerupine - History and Introduction
Kornerupine is a rare translucent to transparent gemstone named in honour of Andreas Nikolaus Kornerup (1857-1881), a Danish naturalist, artist and explorer. The magnesium aluminum borosilicate known as kornerupine was first described in 1887, after an initial non-gemmy deposit was discovered in Fiskernaes, Greenland. Gem-quality, cuttable material was discovered not long after. Kornerupine is typically yellowish green to green-brown in color, but it is also known to occur in other colors too, including blue, yellow, pink and white.
Owing to its extreme rarity, kornerupine is primarily sought after by gem collectors rather than jewelry designers. However, after more recent discoveries of rare colorful deposits found in Africa, its popularity and demand for jewelry use has increased. Kornerupine may also be traded as 'prismatine', a trade name which refers to its long prismatic crystals. Kornerupine is known to exhibit strong pleochroism, usually yellowish green to reddish brown in color. Some stones may exhibit chatoyancy when cut en cabochon, but this is exceptionally rare.
Identifying KornerupineBack to Top
Kornerupine is a complex borosilicate by composition, which includes magnesium, aluminum and iron. Its green color is typically owed to traces of vanadium. It can often be distinguished from other similar gems simply by its strong pleochroism and vitreous luster. Kornerupine can also be identified by its long prismatic crystal forms, which is how it earned its trade name of 'prismatine'. It has a relatively good hardness (6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale) and its refractive index is similar to spodumene, ranging from 1.660 to 1.699. It is also moderately dense, comparable to tanzanite and zultanite (color change diaspore), which can often be helpful when trying to identify kornerupine gems.
Kornerupine; Origin and SourcesBack to Top
Kornerupine can be found in a handful of locations around the world. It was first described after its discovery in Fiskernaes in Southwest Greenland. Other notable deposits have also been found in Australia, Burma (Myanmar), Canada (Quebec), Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Norway.
Although kornerupine was discovered in Greenland, Sri Lanka is the main source for gem-quality materials today. Sri Lanka is known to produce fine yellow-green to yellow-brown kornerupine. Other recent discoveries and deposits found in Tanzania and Madagascar exhibit rather different colors. African stones occur with rare blue or bluish-green color, often with purplish pleochroism. Most African kornerupine is found only in small sizes.
Buying Kornerupine and Determining Kornerupine ValueBack to Top
Kornerupine Gemological Properties:Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Kornerupine: Related or Similar GemstonesBack to Top
Kornerupine also answers to the old mineral name of prismatine. Although there are no other closely related gemstones, there are a few gem varieties that are very similar in regard to color and occurrence. Epidote can be easily confused with kornerupine, as well as tourmaline and andalusite. Kornerupine occurs in sedimentary and volcanic rock, and is also found in metamorphosed anorthosite (intrusive igneous) complexes. Kornerupine is commonly associated with several other well-known minerals such as kyanite, hematite, dumortierite, sillimanite, andalusite and corundum (sapphire and ruby).
Kornerupine Mythology, Metaphysical and Crystal Healing PropertiesBack to Top
Kornerupine is not very well-known, but it still has many uses in the world of metaphysical and crystal healing. It is often used to help stabilize emotions. It can help to calm strong feelings, and it can be used to help break barriers in life. It can aid problem solving and is often used to help determine the root of problems. Kornerupine is a stone of personality and character transformation. It can be used to help people to free themselves from oppression and it can be used to help tune and refine one's character. It is believed that kornerupine can help its wearer to understand the sacred nature of existence and realize unconditional love.
Kornerupine Gemstone and Jewelry Design IdeasBack to Top
Kornerupine is one of the lesser-known gemstones and owing to its extreme rarity, it is not a gemstone that is often seen or worn in jewelry. In most cases, kornerupine is faceted for collectors and is only used for showcasing and display purposes, rather than for jewelry designs. Kornerupine does have relatively good hardness, similar to that of quartz, but its brittle tenacity, good cleavage and uneven, conchoidal fracture make it slightly less durable than the average quartz. Most kornerupine gemstones are quite small, weighing less than 2 carats, so they are usually used for smaller accessories, such as earrings or rings. Kornerupine is also often tumbled and beaded into necklaces or bracelets. Larger stones are often set as pins, brooches or pendants.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Kornerupine Gemstone Jewelry Care and CleaningBack to Top
Kornerupine is similar to quartz with regard to hardness, but it also has good cleavage. Care should be taken to prevent hard knocks or blows which could cause an uneven fracture. When cleaning kornerupine, it's best to use warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Use only a soft cloth or brush to wipe down stones and rinse well afterwards to remove any soapy residue. As with most gemstones, it is best to avoid ultrasonic cleaners and heat steamers. Do not use any harsh chemicals or cleaners, including bleach, ammonia or acid. Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your gems and jewelry, since chemicals can cause corrosion.
Always remove gems and jewelry before playing sports, exercising or engaging in any vigorous physical household chores, such as dishwashing. Kornerupine gems should be stored separately and away from other gems and jewelry. It is recommended that gemstones are wrapped individually in a soft cloth and placed inside a fabric-lined jewelry box for extra protection.
- First Published: April-18-2014
- Last Updated: January-17-2019
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